Worshipful Company of Mercers

Worshipful Company of Mercers
Worshipful Company of Mercers
Honor Deo
Latin for Honour to God.
The Mercers' Company Coat of Arms
Location: Mercers' Hall, London
Date of formation: 1394
Company association: General merchants
Order of precedence: 1st
Master of company: Sir David Clementi[1]
Motto: Honor Deo
Latin for Honour to God.
Website: www.mercers.co.uk

The Worshipful Company of Mercers is the premier Livery Company of the City of London and ranks first in order of precedence. It is the first of the so-called "Great Twelve City Livery Companies". It was incorporated under a Royal Charter in 1394. Its aim was to act as a trade association for general merchants, and especially for exporters of wool and importers of velvet, silk and other luxurious fabrics. By the sixteenth century many members of the Company had lost any connection with the original trade. Today, the Company exists as a charitable institution, supporting a variety of causes. The Company's motto is Honor Deo, Latin for "Honour to God".



The word "mercery" derives from the Latin merx, mercis, "merchandise" [2] from which root also derives the word "merchant".[3] The word mercero still used in Spanish has a meaning similar to haberdasher, although the mediaeval mercers would not have recognised any relationship to that trade which was covered by a separate company.

Mercer foundations

In education, the Company has administered St Paul's School since 1509, and St Paul's Girls' School since 1904, and retains close links with Collyer's College, Dauntsey's School, Abingdon School, Peter Symonds College and Gresham College, all founded by Mercers. In recent times the Company has founded a City Technology College (Thomas Telford School) and two City Academies (Walsall Academy and Sandwell Academy). There was also a Mercers' school which was granted its first charter in 1447. It closed in 1959. The school was most recently based in Barnard's Inn in Holborn, London. This is now the home of Gresham College.

In 2011, the Mercers co-sponsored a new academy school, Hammersmith Academy, specialising in Creative & Digital Media and Information Technology, located in Hammersmith, west London.[4] The school was established in a new building, with support from the Mercers[5] and the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists.[6]

Mercers' Hall

Mercers' Hall, Ironmonger Lane, London

The Mercers' Company is based at Mercers' Hall, Ironmonger Lane (off Cheapside), London EC2. From the 14th century onwards the Company held its meetings in the Hospital of St Thomas of Acon on Cheapside. Between 1517 and 1524 the Company built a small chapel of its own on this land, with the first Mercers' Hall above it, fronting Cheapside. The building was destroyed in the Great Fire of London in 1666. The second Hall, designed by Edward Jarman and John Oliver, opened in May 1676. The Hall was extensively refurbished during the period 1877 to 1881 (the porch of the 1676 building is now incorporated into the facade of Swanage town hall). The frontage was remodelled by George Barnes Williams and the interiors were redesigned by John Gregory Crace, the renowned Victorian designer. The Hall was destroyed by fire in 1941, during the Blitz. The third and present Mercers' Hall was opened in May 1958. The architect was E Noel Clifton of Gunton and Gunton. The Hall incorporates fittings from the old Hall, including some 17th century woodwork and Victorian stained glass. The Mercers' Company is the only City Livery Company to have its own private chapel.

Current activities

In 2006 the Mercers published an annual review of their activities. The accounts show that the Mercers have £454.6 million assets under management. £315.6 million of that total was in the form of property and other fixed assets, the property portfolio includes 90 residential flats in Covent Garden. In the year to August 2005 the Mercers gave away £9 million to charity.

Notable Mercers

Among famous Mercers were:

See also

Further reading

  • Sutton, Anne F., The Mercery of London: Trade, Goods and People, 1130–1578, Aldershot, 2005


  1. ^ Mercer's webpage The master is appointed annually and recent masters are documented here.
  2. ^ Sutton, Anne, op. cit., p.2
  3. ^ Cassell's Latin Dictionary, Merchant & Charles
  4. ^ "Hammersmith Academy". London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham, UK. http://www.lbhf.gov.uk/Directory/Education_and_Learning/Schools_and_Colleges/Secondary_schools/163543_Hammersmith_Academy.asp. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  5. ^ "Hammersmith Academy". The Mercers' Company, City of London, UK. http://www.mercers.co.uk/hammersmith-academy. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  6. ^ "Hammersmith Academy". The Information Technologists' Company, City of London, UK. http://www.wcit.org.uk/staticc/hammersmith_academy.html. Retrieved October 14, 2011. 
  7. ^ Girouard, Mark, Thynne, Sir John (1512/13–1580), estate manager and builder of Longleat in Oxford Dictionary of Biography (Oxford University Press, 2004)
  8. ^ Julian Roberts, ed (2005). "A John Dee Chronology, 1509–1609". Renaissance Man: The Reconstructed Libraries of European Scholars: 1450–1700 Series One: The Books and Manuscripts of John Dee, 1527–1608. Adam Matthew Publications. http://ampltd.tcuk.com/digital_guides/ren_man_series1_prt1/chronology.aspx. Retrieved 27 October 2006. 

External links

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Worshipful Company of Mercers — Die Mercers Hall, Ironmonger Lane in London Die Worshipful Company of Mercers (auch kurz: Mercers Company) ist eine der Livery Companies der City of London. Sie wurde 1394 von Richard II. durch königliche Satzung, der so genannten Royal Charter,… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Worshipful Company of Curriers — Spes Nostra Deus Location: c/o Tallow Chandlers Hall, Dowgate Hill, London Date of formation: 1272 …   Wikipedia

  • Worshipful Company of Cooks — Vulnerati Non Victi Date of formation: 1482 Company association: Cooks and food …   Wikipedia

  • Worshipful Company of Cordwainers — Corio et Arte The Cordwainers Coat of Arms Location: c/o Clothworkers Hall, Dunster Court, Mincing Lane, London EC3R 7AH Date of formation: 1272 Company association: Leather industries …   Wikipedia

  • Worshipful Company of Grocers — The Worshipful Company of Grocers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. HistoryThe Company was founded in the 14th century (1345) as the Guild of Pepperers , which was first known in the 12th century (1180).cite web |url=… …   Wikipedia

  • Worshipful Company of Musicians — Arms of the Company, 1905 The Worshipful Company of Musicians is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. Its history dates back to at least 1350. Originally a specialist guild for musicians, its role became an anachronism in the 18th… …   Wikipedia

  • Worshipful Company of Drapers — Arms of the Drapers Company The Worshipful Company of Drapers is one of the 108 Livery Companies of the City of London; it has the formal name of The Master and Wardens and Brethren and Sisters of the Guild or Fraternity of the Blessed Mary the… …   Wikipedia

  • Worshipful Company of Cutlers — The Worshipful Company of Cutlers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The trade of knife making and repairing was organised in the thirteenth century; the organisation received a Royal Charter later in 1416. The Company has lost …   Wikipedia

  • Worshipful Company of Clockmakers — The Worshipful Company of Clockmakers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Clockmakers were formed by a Royal Charter in 1631. Originally, no person was allowed to sell clocks unless they were a member of the Company. However …   Wikipedia

  • Worshipful Company of Farmers — The Worshipful Company of Farmers is one of the Livery Companies of the City of London. The Company became a Livery Company in 1952, and was granted a Royal Charter three years later. The Farmers Company supports farming students, and otherwise… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”